As per government estimates, India’s total forest and tree cover now stands at 80.73 million hectares—roughly 24.5% of its geographical area. This is far from the target of 33%, which India has committed to raise to, by 2030. We also continue to lose forest cover at a rapid pace due to development projects and encroachment. Maharashtra, for example, has lost a whopping 1,610 sq km of forests in the past 30 years. With 5 trees per human against the prescribed ratio of 7 trees per human, there is an increasing need to build back the forest cover in our cities.
ImpactWe recommend plantation of saplings through the Miyawaki method. Forests grown under the Miyawaki method grow 10 times faster, they are 100 times more biodiverse and have 30 times more green surface area with no maintenance required after 2 years. The Miyawaki method of afforestation involves the planting of a number of different types of trees close together in a small area. The method works well in cities and places where there is less available land for plantation of forests. Dense plantation retains more ground water and recharges the ground water table. It attracts more birds and insects, produces native fruits and improves air quality. Miyawaki forests require a minimum plantation of 2000 saplings.